Lady drink is the first thing you will hear when you enter bars in Thailand. This term is synonymous with beer bars, gogo bars, and gentlemen clubs in Thailand. Many YouTubers and first-time travelers complain that they got scammed at bars. Let me tell you lady drink is not a scam. It is the price you pay to have a company/hostess sit with you. She will order a drink that has a set cost and is mentioned on the menu as `Lady Drink’. It is also not mandatory to buy a lady drink. If you want to just sit alone have a beer nobody will bother you. If it is not your thing, you also have options to sit in regular bars. These bars are easy to spot as you will not find any girls calling you to get in.
If you see a lot of girls outside a bar calling you that bar is primarily a hostess bar. These bars are famous for hiring attractive girls to lure customers in. You walk in a beer bar, you like somebody, just give a smile and she will sit with you. She will only have lady drink as a cost of sitting with you and hearing your jokes and much more. This is a business model for these establishments. It is not a hidden cost or a scam. All you need to know is that this is how these beer bars function. As I said earlier, if you want to sit alone, you are in no way obliged to buy a lady drink. The bars will still welcome you as a regular customer.
The gogo bars not only offer you drinks they also entertain. They have a center stage where 15-20 girls are dancing. Some good gogo bars also have live shows and pole dancing. Now, the gogo bars a bit aggressive for lady drinks. The girls, the waitresses, the mamasan, and even the manager will ask you for a drink. You enter a gogo bar, the menu is shown and you are to buy a drink immediately. The gogo bars are very clear that this is not a place for fine dining. If you are not ordering you are not welcome. If you think you are smart and will buy one drink and sit for hours, you are wrong. They will ask you to buy a drink and will show their displeasure if you don’t. In some cases, they will ask you to leave if you are not buying more drinks.
Don’t touch girls without their permission, buy them a lady drink and they will sit with you happily. Here too the girls are aggressive for lady drinks. They might ask for another drink within 15-20 minutes. You can politely refuse or tell her to wait till you finish your drink. This behavior varies from one gogo to another. Places like Skyfall, Sapphire, and Whatsup a gogo in Pattaya are very professional. Do note they are top class and the drinks are very expensive. One lady drink here will cost you 250 THB. The lady drink cost is mentioned in the menu. Keep a sharp eye on the bill they do sometimes overcharge you. They will give a bill for every drink you buy. You can also clear your bill with each drink.
Soi 6 Pattaya somewhat defines the concept of hostess bars. It is one of kind in Thailand. They sell the cheapest drinks in all of Pattaya. Each bar hires 15-20 girls to accompany you and has drinks with you. The girls are very friendly and are not pushy for drinks. You will probably buy extra drinks with happiness. I am not joking, each bar at Soi 6 has the friendliest vibe. As soon as you settle they will politely ask you if want to sit alone or you need company. They will leave you alone and won’t ask for a drink. If you buy a lady drink you can also play pool and other board games with the girls here. The cost of drinks and lady drinks are written on the menu. You can buy a drink and sit for hours here.
Read all about Soi 6 here.
These categories of bars can be found in all of Thailand. It is a place to chill in the afternoons and have beers and have fun with your friends. Not that they are not open at night but afternoons are much more fun. Plus, Thailand’s nightlife offers much more options to go. The cost of lady drinks is reasonable compared to gogo bars. These bars are usually ‘counter service’ bars as they don’t provide sofa sittings. These bars mostly are in clusters or as they are called `bar complexes’. You can find more than 15-20 bars in one complex.
Lady drink is a business model where the profits revolve around beer and hard liquor. The food in these bars is secondary. Some bars even outsource the food component. They will give you a menu and you can order by phone. You can also buy food from carts stationed outside the bars. Do check your bill; overcharging happens just like in regular restaurants. If you have more questions write me in the comment section.
Eccentric Blogger, Traveler and Consultant.